After a busy spring term at Dartmouth I decided to take advantage of clear skies and a clear calendar to hike Mount Washington. As I drove to the mountains, I could see that every mountain in New Hampshire was in the clear… except one. A persistent cloud snuggled the summit of Mount Washington. I headed up the Ammonoosuc Ravine Trail at 7:15am, and intermittent views ahead confirmed this cloud was stuck on the summit. Still, the trail passes many beautiful waterfalls and rocky formations, and I saw only one other hiker in the early morning chill. I reached Lakes of the Clouds, and the AMC hut, in brilliant morning sunshine.
Fortunately, as I scrambled up into the cloud, it dissipated, and I reached the summit at 10am under sunny skies. After exploring there for a while, I headed toward the northern Presies (Clay, Jefferson, Adams, Madison), to each of which still clung small patches of snow. I hopped over the Cog Railway tracks, skirted Clay to the west, and dropped down the Jewell Trail to my starting point. [It’s amazing how pleasant the Jewell Trail can be in good conditions – i.e., when it’s not dark, 30 degrees and raining, postholing through an ice crust; but that’s another story.]
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climb: 4.5mi; 2h40 including stopover at hut; 3800’ gain
descent: 5.0mi; 2h08.